Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My tiny home decorating corner

In the corner of our livingroom, I've placed my great-uncle's travelling trunk from his days in the coast guard. It had been consigned to my parents' basement for decades -- I didn't even know it was there. Originally, I intended to use it as a coffee table, but it was too big and blocky. We decided to get something more delicate so that we could see the cowhide rug. We moved it to the corner, where it has provided extra storage space (needed in our 500 square foot apartment), and one of the few flat, open spaces in our home. Currently living on the trunk are a shiny gold vintage lamp (a graduation gift from me to my husband when he finished his Ph.D.), a gold painted bowl from bali, some old books, an antler I found near my family's house, and our record player. Sometimes the record player also hosts a cat, though we strongly discourage this!

After a friend's wedding, we were given six of her leftover milk glass vases, and I have loved clustering these with fresh flowers on the trunk to give that dark corner a bit of color. I first arranged flowers as a hostess in a very nice restaurant outside Boston and loved the challenge of balancing color, structure, and height.

Flowers live so briefly I have been photographing them and then editing them on instagram. I love to share the little bit of seasonality we get here in Northern California.

cat on a record player with flowers
Zelda the cat, posing insouciantly with billy balls.
daffodils, calla lilies, narcissus, fennel, ceanothus, ferns, lavender
spring flowers  (daffodils, calla lilies, narcissus, fennel, ceanothus, ferns, lavender ) I collected in our neighborhood
flowers lamp record player
I bought a bunch of green wheat in late fall, and the brilliant local florist suggested flax, thistle, and eucalyptus to go with it.

early spring bouquet of irises, tulips, and greens.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Early Autumn Canning

Bolinas blackberry jam

I have never canned before, and I'm not sure you could say I've even canned now, even though I helped make all those jars of jam.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Things I Like Today

A dose of pretty.

I am working with PDK to decorate our new place, and he got us an awesome couch from Therapy in San Francisco that is a minimalist modernist-inspired couch in grey. But we need something to make it pop! So I ordered throw pillows and covers, and the first just arrived!


via Modern Marvelous Home on etsy
I can't wait until my other pillows, in yellow-and-white and yellow-and-grey, get here. I hope they all look good together.

Other thing that is awesome:  Look at these cool arty creations by Jennifer Khoshbin. I found her at her Etsy shop Rubyslounge, originally, but her own website features a lot more of her adventurous art than is featured just in her shop. Thank you, Jennifer, for letting me share your work with my readers!

A work of art in the Manipulation sequence

A very fishy fellow.  This sculpture is a Transform-ation!
These guys are killer. via

Monday, October 3, 2011

General Catch-up

Hello my dear friends,

I know I have been terribly absent. I taught intensive classes this summer, actually got something like a chapter of my dissertation done, and then moved house! I am back in my beloved Bay Area, in Berkeley, a wonderful, wonderful city, and still dissertating away, as well as applying for academic jobs this fall (to begin next fall).

I have reopened my etsy shop, and I made some cool new accessories this summer in a few new designs that I am excited to share soon!

I also was pleased to be asked by a good friend to make her a hair accessory for her wedding earlier this month. I was so flattered that she liked what I sell on etsy! It was my first custom made piece, which was a fun adventure -- we looked at some of my completed designs to find something that worked with her aesthetic and with what I had in stock. I even made her a little muslin "rough draft" so she and her hair-dresser could use that for the trial appointment. In the end, I trolled vintage and thrift stores until I found a great silk scarf with enough white to make a little flower, and then I almost wrecked the scarf by by washing it..... and almost wrecked the first flower I made by applying a stiffener that had worked great on cotton, but left marks on silk. Luckily, I had made a "back up" flower in case something happened to the first one. And my friend liked the second better anyways, thank goodness. She was a total bombshell at the wedding, and I loved how the little silk "flower" looked! Hopefully she'll send me a pic I can post.

If I had been charging her, that little flower would have easily cost her twice as much as I usually charge, considering the time and energy and materials. I can see why bridal items can seem to be so overpriced, but the care and energy that goes into pleasing one customer is a lot extra, it seems to me. I was glad to do it as a gesture of love for my friend, though.

I also was commissioned to do some freelance writing, which was a lot of fun, but also hard work.... I am not used to modifying my style for commercial writing, and I had to tone down my long sentences, tone down the purple prose, and just be much less flowery, generally. Still, it was good money and gave me some confidence that if this academia thing doesn't work out, there may be other ways in which to apply my skills.

This is a text heavy post, but tomorrow will be an image heavy one, so forgive me in the meantime :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dia de los Muertos Decorations

I'm excited about Halloween, and I want to put a cool spin on it this year with some awesome Dia de los Muertos skulls!

How do you like your sugar skulls ...

Black and White?

[Edit: My black and white skulls treasury was featured on the Etsy Treasury Hunter today!]

Or Full of Color?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Stitching in Circles featured at Heart Handmade

Mandie of Heart Handmade sweetly featured the upcycled accessories I sell in my etsy shop on her blog!  I am so flattered.

Check out the profile and feature! StitchinginCircles on HeartHandmadeBlog

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I am deep in my dissertation work right now, with deadlines looming, and I have to plan 2 summer classes that are both starting in a month, so I am taking a break from Etsying and Blogging for the near future. But it is only temporary!

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